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petual frost.” A low projecting point on the western side of the entrance to Yakutat bay was named “ Point Manby.” The coast beyond this toward the northeast became less wooded, and seemed to produce only a brownish vegetation, which farther eastward entirely disappeared. The country was then bare and composed of loose stones. The narrative contains an interesting account of the grand coast scenery from St. Elias to the eastern end of the Fairweather range; but this does not at present claim attention.
While the Chatham continued her cruise castward, Puget ascended Yakutat bay nearly to its head, and also navigated some of the channels between the islands along its eastern shore. A cape on the eastern side, where the bay penetrates the first range of foot-hills, was named “ Point Latouche;” but the same landmark had previously been designated " Pa. de la Esperanza” by Malaspina. The bay at the head of the inlet, which Malaspina bad named “Desangaño," was named “Diuges sound," after one of the officers of the Chuthum. Boats were sent to explore this inlet, but found it “ closed from side to side by a firm, compact body of ice, beyond which, to the back of the ice, a small inlet appeared to extend N. 55o E. about a league.'*
These observations confirm those made by Malaspina and indicated on the chart reproduced on plate 7, where the ice front is represented as reaching as far south as Haenke island.
The evidence furnished by Malaspina and Vancouver as to the former extent of the glaciers at the head of Yakutat bay is in harmony with observations made by Vancouver's party in Icy strait and (ross sound. Early in July, 1794, these straits were found to be heavily encumbered with floating ice. At the present time but little ice is met with in that region. On Vancouver's charts there is no indication that he was aware of the existence of Glacier bay, although one of his officers, in navigating ley strait, passed its immediate entrance. These records, although somewhat indefinite and of negative character, indicate that the fields of floating ice at the mouth of Glacier bay were much more extensive a hundred years ago than at present; but they do not show where the glaciers of that region formerly terminated.
After the return of the (Chatham's boats from the exploration of Disenchantment bay, an exploration of the eastern shore of Yakutat bay was made. The following extract indicates the character of work done there:
* Vancouver's Voyage, vol. 5, p. 389. † Ibid., pp. 417-421.
“Digges’ sound [Disenchantment bay] was the only place in the bay that presented the least prospect of any interior navigation, and this was necessarily very limited by the close connected range of lofty snowy mountains that stretched along the coast at no great distance from the seaside. Mr. Puget's attention was next directed to the opening in the low
nd, but as the wind was variable and adverse to the progress of the vessel, a boat was again despatched to continue the investigation of these shores, which are compact from Point Latouche and were then free from ice. This opening was found to be formed by an island about two miles long, in a direction S. 50° E. and N. 50° W., and about a mile broad, lying at the distance of about half a mile from the mainland. Opposite to the south part of this, named by Mr. Puget KNIGHT's Island, is Eleanor's cove, which is the eastern extremity of Beering's (Yakutat] bay, in latitude 59° 44', longitude 220° 51'. Knight's island admits of a navigable passage all round it, but there is an islet situated between it and the mainland on its northeast side. From Eleanor's cove the coast takes a direction S. 30° W. about six miles to the east point of a channel leading to the south west, between the continent and some islands that lie off it. This was considered to lead along the shores of the mainland to Point Mulgrave, and in the event of its proving navigable, the examination of the bay would have been complete, and the vessel brought to our appointed place of meeting, which was now supposed to be no very great distance."
In endeavoring to reach Port Mulgrave by a channel leading between the islands on the eastern side of the bay and the mainland, the Chatham grounded, and was gotten off with considerable difficulty. Many observations concerning the geography and the natives are recorded in the narrative of this exploration.
The next account † of explorations around Yakutat bay that
* Narrative of a Voyage round the World, performed in the ship Sulphur during the years 1836-1842; by Captain Sir Edward Belcher: 2 vols., 8o, London, 1843.
† A fort was built by the Russians, in 1795, on the strip of land separating Bay de Monti from the ocean, and was colonized by convicts from Russia. In 1803, all of the settlers were killed and the fort was destroyed by the Yakutat Indians. So complete was this massacre that no detailed account of it has ever appeared. (Alaska and its Resources, by W. H. Dall, 1870, pp. 316, 317, 323.)